The National Electrification Administration (NEA) suspended the Board of Directors (BOD) and some department heads of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) for 90 days for questionable use of funds.
In a decision served by a NEA team on December 23, 2021, BOD members Rocky Aliping, Esteban Somngi, Enrique Moresto, Jonathan Obar, Robert Valentin, Josephine Tuling, Luke Gomeyac, Peter Busaing, Jeffred Acop and Mike Maspil are meted suspension of three months each. Included also in the suspension are the Internal Services Department Head Atty. Delmar Cariño, Internal Audit Department Manager Brenda Carling and NNRS Chief Deñfin Cachin.
NEA found the electric cooperative (EC) officials administratively liable for willfull violation and non-compliance to NEA issuances, memoranda and other rules and regulations. They violated the NEA memorandum on guidelines on benefits, allowances and incentives of EC officials and employees prescribing per diems.
NEA also stated that the officials committed irregularities on rules on information dissemination allowances, excessive gas allowances, excessive 13th month pays, grocery allowances, and Christmas bonuses or 14th month pays. These violations were found out in the “motu proprio” investigation by NEA.
Aside from the suspension, the officials were ordered to return millions of excessive disallowances and expenses.
With the suspension of the officials, a project supervisor designated by NEA will take charge of the affairs vacated by the board members and officials.
Earlier too in September, – seven of the 10 BODs and Officer-in-charge Melchor Licoben were also suspended by NEA for 90 days after defying the appointment of lawyer Ana Marie Paz Rafael as the cooperative’s general manager.
Though the same erring BODs and officials defied the suspension too bantering that NEA has no jurisdiction on the electric cooperative.